Maine appoints new medical cannabis program director

Maine’s medical marijuana program finally has a new director, after the position went unfilled for a year.

Marietta D’Agostino, a former director of the state’s MMJ program, left in 2016 for a job in the private cannabis sector, and Craig Patterson, an analyst with the state’s health department, was chosen this week to fill her shoes.

A health department spokeswoman declined to offer specifics about Patterson’s hiring, according to the Portland Press Herald, but he’s been with the agency for roughly two years and is taking on the role just as the state is preparing to launch a new recreational marijuana industry.

However, it’s still unclear just what role Patterson and his department may play in the new adult-use industry.

Existing MMJ operators in Maine were originally slated to have first crack at rec business permits, but that’s no longer the case, the Press Herald reported.

Regardless, Maine has seen a significant uptick in registered MMJ patients and caregivers in recent years, the paper reported.